News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Short-term forecast: thunderstorms before noon

August 12th, 2015 by Mike

Noon:35: Sun!

Cliff Mass: “A modestly strong thunderstorm cell is moving northward across Seattle now, with rain and lightning.”

1129 AM PDT WED AUG 12 2015

1129 AM PDT WED AUG 12 2015


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Heat returns; water rationing, too

August 11th, 2015 by Mike

The National Weather Service in Seattle posted this stunning dawn photo about three hours ago.

With this unwelcome message:

“Dawn at NWS Seattle on what is expected to be the 40th day of 80 degrees or higher in Seattle this year.

“There have only been 7 years in the past 121 with 40 or more days this warm in Seattle. We’re still well ahead of last year’s pace in which we had 45. The all-time record is 47 set back in the summer of 1958.

About three hours later the city of Seattle announced a further stage in water restrictions: voluntary reductions.

Together with Tacoma and Everett, “the three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting today.”

According to a press release from the Seattle Public Utilities: “Seattle customers know it is important to manage their water use during these dry conditions,’ said Seatte Mayor Ed Murray. ‘Today we are asking residents and businesses to continue to reduce water use both indoors and outdoors.’”

Today’s forecast tops out at 88 degrees in Maple Leaf this afternoon, but Cliff Mass has a post suggesting it will be hotter.

This summer, I have gotten a number of complaints about the poor quality of our local forecasts.

Several of you have suggested that the weather is often much better (generally warmer) than predicted by the National Weather Service and several media outlets.

I have to admit, I had noticed the same thing. My calibration as a long-term forecaster seemed to be off.

His post giving reasons for this is here, and notes: “During June through early August the Weather Service was too low almost every day (by roughly 3-4F).”

There’s more on saving water here.

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Neighbor sends alert about dogs off-leash at park

August 9th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor emails this afternoon:

Just wanted to share that my pup and I ran into a very polite animal control officer at the park today. Apparently there was an unfortunate bite incident earlier this week and they will be patrolling the park for leash-law breakers for a little while.

Just a reminder from one dog owner to others that leash laws exist for everyone’s comfort and safety.

~ From a neighbor and dog mom

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More about food (and drink) in the neighborhood

August 9th, 2015 by Mike

Recent items that caught our eye:

* The Maple Bar was written up in The Seattle Times on Wednesday, with this somewhat enticing  headline: Maple Bar: a neighborly vibe and easy-drinking libations.

Yes, the review of the restaurant and bar at 8929 Roosevelt Way N.E. was entirely about cocktails.

The Maple Bar is one of the best cocktail bars to open in the North End in the past year.

Some easy-drinking libations headline a menu that features herbaceous spins on summer staples such as the gin and tonic (its best drink), a house-made tonic made with herbs from its garden and spiced up with peppercorns, rosemary and orange zest.

It did tell us something we didn’t know, though: “Now owner Heather Ramsay has opened a second outdoor seating area, transforming a bushy, weed-filled backyard into a patio garden that seats 25.”

(Leaf Tip: Eating? Get the excellent burger. Medium rare.)

* Last month, in a ’90s flashback, the Times was asked where one could still find $1 Taco Tuesdays. Part of the answer: “If you’re really cheap, you can do 50-cent tacos at Old 5th Avenue Tavern in Maple Leaf.”

This same Reader Q&A also calls out the Watershed Pub and Kitchen at Thornton Place, though for beer not tacos. The last full review of the Watershed we saw, from last summer, is here.

* Finally, the Times earlier today reminded us that even when Farmer’s Markets are not open, there’s a year-round produce stand right down 15th Avenue Northeast.

“Rising Sun Produce.  Shop in season for the best deals at this Ravenna/Roosevelt-area fixture. 6329 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle (206-524-9741).

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News for the Dogs of Maple Leaf

August 5th, 2015 by Mike

News items for the (very many) dogs of Maple Leaf.

1) Casting call for Husky fan dogs!

Calling all Maple Leaf dog owners and UW Husky fans! Bring your dog out to Red Square at the University of Washington on Sunday, August 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a chance to be in an upcoming BECU campaign commercial.

If you would like to participate, please RSVP to and submit your name and contact information. We strongly encourage you to wear purple and bring your dog in UW gear, if you’ve got it, to join in on the fun!

BECU will be shooting a video of BECU dogs barking and playing to the sound of the Husky fight song. The video will be shared on and other social media outlets to help promote the upcoming campaign.

Please note this is a casting call and we cannot guarantee that your dog will make it into the final campaign commercial.

Enough said. (Except this disclosure: The mascot of the University of Washington Huskies is not, in fact, a Husky.)

2) This weekend the Natural Balance dog food company will be hosting “‘the exciting Natural Character Café’ — Seattle’s first pop-up “doggie foodie station” where dogs can sample a wide variety of wholesome Natural Balance food and treats specially formulated to bring out their one-of-a-kind personalities.”

Sadly, it’s in Kirkland. (Details are here.) But:

“Natural Balance has also partnered up with Learndipity Data Insights to conduct a survey of 1,015 U.S. dog parents on “pup personality.”

*99% believe their dogs feel happiness

*93% believe their dogs smile

90% believe their dogs worry

79% believe their dogs feel embarrassment

*79% of dog parents say their dog actively attempts to comfort them

*55% say their dog looks at them with loving eyes

*52% say their dog senses it when they are sad


3) Finally, there’s a move apaw to develop more off-leash areas here for dogs, praised by Citizens for Of-leash-Areas in Seattle.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and Seattle City Council are giving dog friends an opportunity to voice their concerns about the present state of off-leash areas through a new survey ( Want a separate area for shy, small, or recovering dogs? Wish there were lights for those February days when it’s dark by 4:30 p.m.? Speak! Even if you don’t use the off-leash areas, tell them why you don’t – the survey is anonymous.

Seattle has 14 dog parks providing a little more than 26 acres of off-leash land, but our big-city neighbors – Portland, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. – average 32 dog parks each. Those three cities can boast an average of nearly 120 acres each. Woof!

Nearby off-leash areas.

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National Night Out!

August 4th, 2015 by Mike

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City reveals public emergency alert and notification system “AlertSeattle”

August 4th, 2015 by Mike

This post courtesy of our sister site My Ballard.

Seattle police officers, firefighters and emergency management staff are spreading the word about AlertSeattle, a new, real-time emergency alert and notification system. With AlertSeattle ready for action, Seattle now has a convenient way to send messages to the public with information on what to do when emergencies like earthquakes, explosions, flooding or other disasters happen.

In addition to emergency alerts, the public can also sign-up  for the free system to receive community notifications about severe weather, safety, health, utility service disruptions, major traffic incidents, preparedness events and more.

AlertSeattle will provide real-time emergency alerts and notifications, serving as a unified and official voice from the City of Seattle,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “These notifications will improve safety in our city and help inform city residents and visitors of potentially lifesaving actions they may need to take during emergency events.”

Barb Graff, Director of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management, encourages Seattle residents and visitors to enroll. “With AlertSeattle, individuals receive official communication directly from the City of Seattle. People can customize what alerts they want to receive and how they want to be notified. Getting good information out quickly is critical during emergencies, and AlertSeattle is an excellent tool for people to stay informed.”

If you live, work, travel through or visit Seattle, you are invited to sign up at The service itself is provided by the City of Seattle.

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Tuesday is not only election day, it’s Night Out

August 2nd, 2015 by Mike

Close your street, enjoy potluck food and music with your neighbors.

It’s National Night Out from 6-10 p.m. Tuesday. Or, locally, Seattle Night Out Against Crime.

Follow the above link for more details.

Last year, over 1,400 events were registered to participate.

A few of the Maple Leaf participants are shown on the map. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3.

(Oh, and don’t forget to post your primary election ballot by Tuesday.)

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Found: Car and house keys and TWO orange shoes

August 2nd, 2015 by Mike

Update 10 a.m. Police came out and picked up the shoes.

Update 9 a.m. As noted in comments below, the second shoe has been spotted and we picked it up.

M.L. emails overnight:

This (Saturday) morning just before dawn I found car and house keys next to Mojito’s restaurant near Safeway (at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 75th Street).

Easy to tell which car but impossible to tell which house. I will post a sign near there later today. Could you also post a notice on your blog, please for the owner to identify and come forward? Thank you!

In addition, an orange Nike sports shoe wound up in the front yard at Maple Leaf Life South, off 12th Avenue Northeast, on Thursday morning.

It’s conceivably related to the armed robbery Wednesday night of a 14-year-old boy at Roosevelt and Northeast 85th Street. The robbers, according to police, took a backpack but most of its contents were “strewn along the sidewalk from the scene to where the robbers were found.”

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First Ave. N.E. to close nightly for weeks

August 1st, 2015 by Mike

Crews working overnight to relocate utility lines will close First Avenue Northeast between Northeast 95th and Northeast 100th streets for several weeks.

The closure is from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. A detour will be marked to Fifth Avenue Northeast.

That section of First is already heavily impacted by preliminary work on light rail, and the utility relocation is necessary before beginning construction of Northgate Station early next year.

From Sound Transit:

This work is expected to take approximately two to three weeks to complete. No high impact noise activities (such as jackhammering or saw-cutting) are scheduled to take place after 10 p.m. Access to homes and businesses will be maintained.

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Arson victims thank neighbors for support

August 1st, 2015 by Mike

Victims of the arson fire here a week ago are thanking neighbors for their support, and plan to rent a Maple Leaf home to live in. (Thanks, Lisa, for the tip.)

The Gibbons family, which fled their burning home with only the clothes they were wearing, wrote on a gofundme page:

We, the Gibbons family, would like to give a huge heartfelt thank you to all those who have so generously donated. The support from family, friends and even strangers has been beyond incredible. We are so blessed to be part of such an amazing community. We have recently found a rental in the neighborhood and are looking forward to moving in and regaining some sense of normalcy. Thanks again for all of your support and well wishes.

In five days the campaign has raised $6,530 from 73 individual donations.

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City-council-by-district primary election is Tuesday

July 31st, 2015 by Mike

Next Tuesday, Aug. 4, is the deadline to return mail ballots in Seattle’s district-by-district primary election.

Most of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5, with only a small southern toe in District 4.

Over at Crosscut, political consultant Benjamin Anderstone has posted a demographic look at the council districts.

Of District 5, which also includes a big chunk of north Seattle, he says:

District 5: Anti-establishment voters.

“The truth is that this North End district is the hardest to pin down this year. It was the only district to begin the year without a sitting City Council member, and hasn’t had one for years. It attracted a slew of political newcomers and younger activists…. D5 has actually seen a whopping $377,461 spent already.

“A lot of that feverish spending is precisely because D5 is up for grabs.”

(He characterizes District 4 as Single-family homeowners.)

What else about District 5?

In this free-for-all of relative unknowns, there has been a race to find an issue that builds momentum. In D5, gaining traction often is about taking on the establishment – a feeling that City Hall is not concerned about this end of town.

Besides the oft-cited lack of sidewalks issue, a number of political issues are at play. One is that D5 voters are a bit skeptical of shelling out taxes. Tax votes for amenities like transportation and parks lag behind in D5 relative to its near-north neighbors, D4 and D6. This may reflect longstanding concerns about the far North End not receiving its fair share of city resources.

Read his full post here.

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Three teens arrested after armed robbery in Maple Leaf

July 30th, 2015 by Mike

A 14-year-old boy was robbed at knife point Wednesday night in Maple Leaf, Seattle police say.

In an email early this afternoon Officer Lauren Lovanhill writes:

Officers arrested three robbers last night and recovered stolen property belonging to a 14-year-old boy shortly after they were taken at knife point.

The boy was walking home from his friend’s house in Maple Leaf just after 10 p.m. last night when two subjects, 15 and 16-years-old, ran up to him. They grabbed him and pulled him to the side of a building where another 18-year-old suspect approached and held a knife to his neck and demanded his wallet and backpack. The robbers asked what size shoe he wore and when he told them 9.5, they told him he was “lucky that his feet were small.”

The robbers stole his backpack along with the clothes off his back and ran off.

The victim flagged down a bicyclist who offered his cell phone to call 911.

Officer Ryan Ellis found three suspects matching the description not far away. The victim confirmed the three detained were the same people who robbed him.

A K9 officer arrived and helped locate the victim’s stolen items. Most were found strewn along the sidewalk from the scene to where the robbers were found. The rest of his property was found in the pockets of the suspects as well as the knife used.

One of the suspects was booked into King County Jail and the other two were juveniles and booked into the Youth Service Center for investigation of Robbery.

The email does not give an exact location. However, the Seattle Police crime map shows a ROBBERY-STREET-WEAPON at Northeast 85th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast at 10:27 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition, Jodi posted Wednesday night at Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf:

Several police vehicles arrived at corner of 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th Street, following one patrol car that used a megaphone to tell the occupant to “come out, now.” This was about 10:30 p.m. and cars with flashing lights still there. Anyone with information would be appreciated if you post.

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Body found at Thornton Place parking garage; police increase area patrols

July 30th, 2015 by Mike

Update Aug. 1: As Northgate Nan points out in comments, this death was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner.


A woman’s body was found in the parking garage at Thornton Place, just south of Northgate Mall, Wednesday evening.

In addition to housing, Thornton Place includes restaurants and a popular Regal movie theater.

From Seattle Police overnight:

Homicide detectives are investigating after Seattle firefighters found a woman dead inside a car in North Seattle early Wednesday evening.

Officers were called to a parking garage in the 300 block of Northeast 103rd Street at 7:30 tonight when Seattle firefighters discovered an adult female unresponsive inside a car. Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators are on scene where they are currently collecting evidence and canvassing for witnesses. Detectives will work with the Medical Examiner to identify the victim and cause of death in this case.

Officers have have increased patrols in the area following this investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide/Assault Tip Line at (206)233-5000

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The Maple Leaf 20th Summer Social is on!

July 29th, 2015 by Mike

Update July 30th: The Maple Leaf Community Council has added 32 photos here.

Photos from the Summer Social, courtesy of Maple Leaf photographer Dane Doerflinger. More of his photographs are here.


This evening’s 20th annual Maple Leaf Ice Cream Social has started.

It runs until 8:30 p.m. next to the playground at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 85th Street.

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